My Quarter Life Crisis and Why I've Been Avoiding Blogging

I guess I should probably break the silence that I've had on my blog for the past couple of months. I started my last year of graduate school in August, which also aligns with when I stopped updating my blog. When school started I thought I would go on a small break and get everything situated before coming back, well to my surprise, it wasn't a few weeks... it was a couple of MONTHS! My classes and work have finally chilled out, but now I'm left with this looming thought of graduating and rather applying for Ph.D. programs or getting a job.

With school and work slowing down, I decided to go back to my Alma Mater (College of the Sequoias) and give a talk about my journey/research. When I got on campus, I couldn't believe that I wasn't still a student there and that I had gone on to get my BSc and am now finishing my MSc. Going back made me realize how much colleges and universities need professors that students can connect with and feel comfortable around. Ultimately, going back made me realize that I need to help foster and grow the next generation of scientists. However, it also made me question whether I was ready to do that, I mean I had only been away from that campus for a couple of years and now I want to go back as a professor?!?!

I feel like a lot of this dread about graduating and getting a job is because I don't think I'm ready to teach chemistry at the college level, even though I've been teaching the lab portion of general chemistry at my Fresno State. Another feeling I have about graduating with my masters is that later in my life I won't be satisfied with my degree and will have regret that I didn't get my Ph.D. while I was able to.

Does anyone else feel like their faced with this impossible decision of trying to figure out their future? Granted I'm 25, but I feel nowhere ready to join the chemistry instructor workforce. Maybe I'm using graduate school as a way to avoid unfamiliar situations that I may not be comfortable with? What are your thoughts about careers, academia, and your mid-twenties?

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